Changes In Nursing Home Regulations Aimed At Reducing The Risk Of Elder Abuse


Changes in nursing home regulations that began November 28, 2016, aim to reduce the risk of elder abuse in nursing facilities. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services understand the need for nursing home residents to participate in the implementation of their care plan, and it is now required that all residents have an established care plan within 48 hours of entering the facility. In addition, the grievance process has been improved, financial exploitation is now deemed abuse, and the regulations call for better training and background checks on employees.

Improving the Grievance Process

Part of the new regulations include making it easier for residents and family members to file a grievance when they have a problem with the facility or one of the staff employed there. All nursing homes are now required to have an officially appointed staff member who is available to handle complaints. The grievance must be thoroughly documented in writing by the official assigned by the nursing home.

Financial Exploitation is Now Identified as Abuse

Identifying financial exploitation as abuse is a major accomplishment, as many elders each year are exploited financially. While this is not necessarily a huge risk in nursing facilities, financial exploitation is now a reason for claiming abuse

Better Background Checks and Training for Staff Members

It matters who nursing homes trust to care for the residents in their facility, yet background checks and training often falls slack. The new regulations require an increase in training for all staff in the facility and better vetting of employees that are hired. With better background checks being conducted, less risky employees will be hired. Nursing homes can no longer hire any licensed staff who have been let go from a job because they have mistreated, abused, neglected, or financially exploited residents in their care.

Other changes in nursing home regulations include the ability of residents to receive visitors at any time, eliminating set visitation hours. This ensures that loved ones can check on family members any time that they want to in order to ensure their safety. In addition, all residents must have a specific care plan to address their needs within 48 hours of admittance into the facility. The resident and family member representative need to be included in the care plan meeting to help create the plan and establish what the resident will need in terms of daily care, maintenance, and rehabilitation.

To learn more, contact a lawyer who specializes in nursing home abuse at a firm like Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC.


30 January 2017

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